How To Have Your Dental Hygienist Resume Stand Out

You have between 5-7 seconds to make an impression with your resume before an employer moves on to the next resume. Does yours make the cut?
You have found your dream job, working for your dream practice, but…
How do you stand out from the hundred other applicants?
Why should your resume be sitting on the top of the pile?
What are the commonly accepted ways to format your Dental Hygienist resume?
We decide to break this down so that you are sitting on top of the resume pile.

Your Audience

It may be taboo to say, but resumes are boring. 
We said it! 
No employer likes reading resumes anymore than candidates enjoy making them. However, it is important to remember that these are the screening formats that are the most commonly chosen, and more often than not, it will be the office manager reading through resumes because they were tasked with selecting a candidate.
Trying to make your resume cute or colorful may lead to a bad impression of unprofessionalism when an employer reviews it. It is highly recommended to allow your resume to be the most professionally presented it can be and to let your personality shine through in your cover letter and interview.
So, how do we format it in a way that is concise, specific, and hitting the points that we want?
There are multiple ways to format it, and we’re going to break down the best formats.

Three Main Accepted Formats of Resume

Functional Style

A functional resume’s main objective is to illustrate the skills of an applicant via common themes. These typically include a list of skills, with specifications under each skill of how these were utilized.
 Such as:
  • Skills
    • Excellent Patient Care
      • Provided and assisted in all forms of patient care from their entrance as a patient and exit.
      • Conducted and reassured patients of their upcoming treatments.
      • Followed up with clients until they felt comfortable proceeding.
      • Explained the pharmacology of the drugs being used and administered in their processes.
      • Cultured and provided an open line of contact throughout their visit.
When formatting functional resumes, the work history comes near the end after skills and explanations of your experiences that support them. This ensures the proper and appropriate focus is occurring where it is desired. 
These work experiences are typically only mentioned by your place of work, title, and dates in which you worked there.


This is a more common, and widely used format across all resume writing and industries.
Why is it called reverse-chronological?
This is due to it beginning with the present and moving backward chronologically towards the “beginning” of your professional career.
For each position, you list the name of the organization, or role, and dates you were employed throughout under the career summary section.
Then proceed with the following sections:
  • Education
  • Achievements
  • Employment History

Combination Style

The combination style of resume appears the most often. This style of resume combines the emphasis of both the previous styles together into one resume.
The sections go as follows:
  • Professional summary.
  • Relevant skills.
  • Work history /professional summary.
    • This includes the name of the business, your role, your responsibilities and accomplishments, and the dates you were employed.
  • Education / Certifications
  • Additional subheaders if applicable.
By following any of these three formats, you will be guaranteed a concise and professionally formatted resume.

How To Stand out


Everyone hates this word, but we love it when it works. Don’t think of networking as cold emails and cold calling to try and reach out. 
Think of networking as going to trade shows that you are already interested in and meeting other like-minded professionals. It is important to remember that every person in that conference is just another person trying to meet others. When you think about it like that, it is much less intimidating.
There will often be times in which positions are not going to be posted online and will just be offered through mutual connections and referrals from trusted professionals.
Make sure you have a good first impression.

Writing A Cover Letter With Your Resume

It may feel like it is just another document you have to write after hours of applying for other positions, but we promise you that it is worth it.
In a world where jobs can be applied to with one click, it is important to take the extra steps to show your effort.

Resume Objectives

Where we had previously spoken about customizing your resume objective, the same concepts apply to customizing them here.
The goals of these are to speak to the need of your possible future employers and to calm any questions or concerns that they may have.

Cut The Fluff

We have all been there. You’re staring at your screen, wondering how you can fill out the page more, but take our word for it; having fluff added into your resume will do nothing other than turning your employers away.
We reached out to Edith Dana, a Registered Dental Hygienist, to ask her what her main tip was about writing a successful dental hygienist resume, and she had this to say:
“Simplicity. You have only seconds to give them something to remember you by. Get to the point.”
We couldn’t agree more. There are plenty of other times during the interview process to blind them with brilliance. 
For your resume, focus on concise, specific, and qualifying resume objectives and sections.

Include The State Specific Licenses Required

States can require individual and specific licenses that are only applicable in their state to practice. So it is vital to tailor your resume based on the location you are applying to work in and provide any nationally valid certifications.
Nothing says lack of effort to an employer like including your California-specific certification when applying for a position in Nevada.

Using The Best Verbiage

When writing a resume, it is important to use strong action verbs. These are an easy and quick way to give more authority to your accomplishments.
Actions words can but are not limited to the following:
  • Administered
  • Diagnosed
  • Supervised
  • Spearheaded
  • Facilitated
  • Implemented
  • Briefed

Next Steps

So you’re standing out on paper, and taking those additional steps to impress your employer like networking, and writing your cover letters will let you stand out in person.
If you need more resume tips you can read any of the following:
Posted in dental hygienist at 03/01/2021 1:10pm